Monday, March 31, 2008

ADAU Meet Report...

Well - here goes the meet report for the ADAU Great Lakes PL meet - not a great day...

Squat - 475 was good with 2 whites and then I proceeded to miss my next two attempts at 520.

Bench - 295 opener - good, 310 second - good, pass on third.

DL - 545 opener - good and then proceeded to miss my next two attempts at 575.

Squat warm up felt great and in hindsight I should have gone to 505 then 520 but I thought I would hit my second and pass on my third - didn't work out that way though.
Bench was ok - ADAU is pretty strict on the pause etc... so I am happy with that considering I hadn't really benched in weeks.
DL is not that much of a surprise - hadn't actually trained a DL cycle since preparing for the October AAU meet last year.

Lots of mistakes and issues with the training cycle leading up to this meet - travel, missed workouts, decreased frequency of training the lifts, nutrition, etc.... but we live and we learn and progress - not sure when my next meet will be but probably not for a while.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ah-Ha Moments...

Inspired by an Alwyn Cosgrove article over on T-nation I will try to provide you with some of my ah-ha moments in my career...

1) "Muscles are dumb - they only do what the neurological system tells them to do." Juan Carlos Santana. I had made the trip to Columbus for one of the early "Learn by Doing" workshops put on by Perform Better (Juan, Mike Clark, and Vern Gambetta) and Juan Carlos made that statement about 5 minutes into his presentation and it changed everything for me.
This was back in late 97 or early 98 (can't remember exactly) and I was a HIT Jedi at the time - yes I was a one set to failure I can only train every 7-10 days or I'll overtrain Jedi - at least I can talk about it now ;)
HIT Jedi's are obsessed with "maximum stimulation of the muscle fiber to induce hypertrophy" and they try to accomplish this through training to "failure". Well Juan Carlos's statement brought that paradigm down with a thunderous crash. You just can't reconcile the two. If you place your emphasis on the muscle fiber you are really missing the big Neurological picture!

2) Strength is a skill. Pavel.
Another paradigm shift and principle to grasp - coming from the HIT Jedi background the idea of frequent, not to failure training was about as comfortable as a tight wool sweater on a hot summer day - not very. Since I adopted this simple principle I have achieved things I never thought possible. (Look into Power to the People and Naked Warrior by Pavel)
Deadlift 5 days a week, pull-ups every hour...Yes - done properly you groove the skill of strength.

3) Knowledge is not power - Application of knowledge is power. Me - at least that is who I am going to give credit to for that statement as I cannot remember hearing it before I had that epiphany. What brought about that epiphany? Measuring my waist and finding a HUGE 40" bowl of fat instead!
I was running a hospital fitness center and a certified personal trainer at this point and I was not applying ANY of my knowledge.
The result - an immediate and vicious change of diet and exercise - No sugar or refined carbs and High Intensity Intervals and I was down to a 32" waist in less than 3 months.
Application is the key!

4) RKC - Kettlebells and the RKC School of Strength
I ordered the original RKC book sometime in 2000 or early 2001 (see how good I am with my dates) and promptly read it and did nothing with it - but couldn't get it out of my head until one day after rereading it I loaded up a 50# dumbbell and tried to do some dumbbell snatches. After a near death experience I decided to attend the second ever RKC in February 2001 in Minneapolis. Nothing has been the same since then.

5) Movement Skill and Z Health
Think you move well? So did I until I tried Z Health. Just as there is a difference between swinging a kettlebell and knowing how to perform the kettlebell swing - there is a universe of difference between mobility work and Z Health.
This is the single most important thing that poeple are not working on. Even as a powerlifter and strength guy I realize that my strength is limited in its effectiveness by how I move. Mobile and Strong will beat "just strong" anyday.
So what are you doing to improve your movement skill?

So there is a quick list of Ah-Ha moments - there are more but it usally involved dropping some object on myself or some other "unique" situation ;)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Quick training today:

28kg Get-ups x 5 singles R+L

28kg Alternating Swings x 10 minutes - 10 reps at the top of each minute

Quick and efficient - just keeping things rolling to Saturday.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Priming the machine for the PL meet...

Got some time in the gym today to get primed for the Powerlifting meet this weekend in Erie, Pa.

Squat - 405 x 1, 1 Walkout with 605, 405 x 1

Bench - 275 x 1, 1

DL - 405 x 1, 1

Feel fresh and good - weight was 196 this morning so I should just be able to coast in and relax.

Found some other interesting information today - releases annual rankings for the PL meets held and breaks them down by raw or equipped and by weight class.
So for the 2007 Men's Rankings in the 198# Raw category I ranked
#16 in the squat with 518
#24 in the deadlift with 573
#21 in the total with 1388
and I ranked #90 in the top 100 for the deadlift @ 181 for all meets reported last year.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Heading to MSP...

I am leaving later today for MSP (that is Minneapolis/St.Paul for those of you not savy with your airport codes) to teach a workshop on my favorite subjects - Strength, tension, relaxation, and kettlebells!

Hope everyone has a great Easter.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Training and modifying...

Squats with doubled over monster mini bands
315 x 1, 365 x 1, 405 x 1, 315 x 2

Bench - competition grip
225 x 2, 275 x 1, 225 x 5

24kg KB one arm swings x 100

I was feeling pretty off when I started and actually had a miss at 405 on the squat and a near miss at 275 on the bench - gulped a 4 oz cranberry juice and then hit them both clean and smooth - Lesson here is that I will be modifying the IF to include protein shakes at intervals - especially on squat/heavy days. Or I will be going 2 days IF one day "regular" or something along those lines.

I am figuring the band tension to be 160 at the top (due to the fact that I have to put 25# plates on the 85# dumbells to keep them from floating up) - so 405+band tension is a nice overload to coast into the meet next week.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Training today:

DL 495 x 1, 545 x 1, 495 x 1, 1, 1

16kg Snatches 5+5 x 10 minutes (set at the top of each minute)

16kg Windmill x 5 r+L

DL's felt good but I do realize that I have not been working them like I should be so that will be part of the routine from here on out.

The 16kg work is "easy by design" (although those damn clean+squat+presses made my legs sore!) - sometimes the training effect is more important than the training.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Quick training today:

16KG - Get-up Combo x 3 each side
(arm bar + get-up + windmill at the top of the get-up then down)

28kg x 20 alternating swings

Double 16kg Clean + Front Squat + Push press
5 reps at the top of each minute for 10 minutes

Z drills

This actually helps with the intermittent fasting and hunger - and on that subject: wow can I eat a lot in the evening! I actually need to go to the store and get some calorie dense foods to keep around for the evening feeding period.

No more lunch breaks - exercise breaks!
"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease." - Thomas Edison

The "fitness" community is spearheading this charge instead and I would argue that the RKC, FMS and Z Performance Solutions groups are leading the most progressive sections.
I could be a little biased in my selection of leading groups ;)

Z is actually a huge performance system encompassing nutrition, movement skill, health and performance - just for those of you who thought is was "just" a joint mobility technique.

Food for thought...

Monday, March 17, 2008

Training today:

Squats with Doubled over Monster Mini bands
315 x 2, 325 x 2, 335 x 2

Bench - close grip
225 x 5, 5, 5

BBSM gripper x 3 singles each hand

KB snatches 24kg 5+5 x 10 minutes (set at the top of each minute)

Felt good and stayed well within myself since I am changing so much at the moment.
One of the most impressive strength feats I have seen...

Adam Glass bending a Grade 5 bolt "Helsep" style and if I am not mistaken Slim the Hammerman used to bend some 60d nails this style as well.

No where to hide - just be strong - Looks like I have some work to do!
Intermittent Fasting...

I have had some very interesting conversations with Zachariah Salazar re: my dietary "issues" and have come to the conclusion that I will be giving an intermittent fasting protocol a try.

This will be fasting until the evening meal and then "Katie bar the door" ;)
Here is a link with a pretty good post on IF and some actual research...

I have done the Warrior Diet in the past for periods of time and always felt very good but the difference here is the true fasting in between feedings. Research and anecdotal evidence seems to indicate that taking the "stress" off of the gut by not "grazing" all day is actually very important. We shall see...

Today will likely be the most challenging day since I ate my big meal yesterday a bit early and I have a very full day of work so we shall see how it feels by the end of the day.

And here is a link to an IF website...

Training wise I ordered some Jumpstretch bands yesterday so that I can incorporate a greater variety of band tension into my squat cycles and I will be going with guarenteed 10 minutes a day KB training to improve my conditioning.
Bulazy or not - even I have 10 minutes a day.

Big changes for the Jones

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail!

This one statement sums up my dietary plan up until yesterday - and that is not a good thing.

My day begins around 5 am and usually ends around 5 pm - sometimes earlier (rare) and sometimes later but that is pretty typical. Travel, long work days and trying to train myself SHOULD mean that I have a solid dietary plan laid out and that I take the time to put the right pieces of the puzzle in easy reach so that I can recover well and make good progress.

Well - I had stopped doing that. Basically I got "bulazy".
Using my schedule as an excuse for not taking care of me - so I was (and still am) busy but used that as an excuse to be lazy.

Not ensuring a good supply of quality protein
Leaving meals to chance
Eating easy foods
Using my move up to the 198 lb weight class as an excuse
Not drinking enough water
Giving in to my sweet tooth - a lot
(and here I was wondering why I wasn't feeling recovered from my workouts!)

I was discussing this with Rif who - when I said my diet had been poor - came back to me with "I can only imagine what that means for you (meaning it was bad before so what would it take for me to say it was poor!)" Friends like Rif are people we all need in our lives.

A quick personal reality:
I am not an exact numbers guy.

This means that I am not going to count calories or be able to "know" that I am getting X grams of protein - my brain just doesn't work that way.

So I have to create and maintain an environment that allows me to be "bulazy" and still eat well.

Step #1 - Water all day (within reason)
Step #2 - Access to high quality protein powder
Step #3 - Control the sweet tooth
Step #4 - Emphasize veggies and fruit

So I headed to the local GNC yesterday and got some quality Whey and almonds and fruit to make sure my work day nutrition can be solid.

Applied knowledge is what matters - time to start doing that.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Quick training today...

405 x 1, 455 x 1, 475 x 1, 495 x 1, 455 x 1

Squats felt pretty good - should be enough to shock my system back into action after the travel etc...

Also going to be changing some things dietary wise and getting serious with other aspects of my routine.

Should be fun...
Training by formula...

Precise formulas are reserved for chemists.
It is really in this arena that you can be told the exact amount of something.
.08 oz. of ingredient X will result in a postive reaction - .09 or .07 oz. of ingredient X and you get something different - the cold hard science of precision works in this case.

Training is not a series of precision formulas - it is a blend of art and science.

How many of Exercise X? (I get this question a LOT!)
Honest answer - I have NO IDEA.
Maybe 3 - maybe 15 - maybe Zero - there are way too many factors involved to be precise.
Medical history, injury history, exercise history, mental, emotional and nutritional factors and mobility and neurlogical factors all come into play - so how do I give you a precise recommendation if I don't know you and know those factors that I listed above?

What you get are guidelines - not precise formulas. All that matters are the results.
Train with the results in mind - not a precise formula.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Hello from Amsterdam...

It has been a whirlwind few days here in Amsterdam! Arrived around 7:30 am on thursday and haven't stopped much since.
Jet lag has been a bit of an issue but not to bad.

The FMS workshop went quite well and I have to thank the Human Motion team here in the Netherlands for their hospitality and the great job they did in taking care of me while here in Amsterdam. if you want to check them out - but you had better speak Dutch ;)

Two days of FMS and corrective strategies to a group of Physiotherapists provided a good challenge but it was a great workshop - thank you to all the attendees.

I did get to visit the Anne Frank house and it provided a VERY different perspective on what it meant to be in hiding in a canal house for 2 years. Pictures and books do NOT do it justice.
Tomorrow I hope to hit the Van Goch museum and a last walk around this beautiful city.
Amsterdam has a great feel to it and is a wonderful place.

I'll be heading for the airport tomorrow and I am looking forward to getting home.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Off to Amsterdam in a couple of hours to teach an FMS workshop...

Should be a great trip and I will blog from there if I can.

Have a great week

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

More Fun training today:

Rack pulls
Low setting (below knee cap but just above tibial tuberosity)
495 x 2, 585 x 2, 675 x 0, 0

4" higher - (above the knee cap)
675 x 1, 725 x 1 (3-5 second hold), 675 x 1 (8-10 second hold)

Stiff leg DL
315 x 4, 365 x 3, 3, 3, 315 x 4

Grip was already stronger and everything felt good. Knew the lower rack position was right in my sticking point when I set it there so the goal will be to up this lower rack position pull. All these pulls were without a belt etc... Once again - fun, fun stuff.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Training 3/4/2008:

DB Bench 85# x 5, 5, 5, 5, 5

Pull-ups (BW) x 5, 5, 5, 5, 5 (various grips)

Ab wheel rollouts x 5, 5

KB swings/snatches 28KG x 20, 30

Good progress on the DB bench - now we will see if it carries over to my competition bench.
Abs were very sore from the rollouts last week and really felt them today.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Sunday Training...

I am headed to Amsterdam to teach an FMS workshop on Wednesday so I am getting my training in ahead of time and will use this as an overload > into a recovery week.

405 x 1, 455 x 1, 405 x 1, 505 x 1, 405 x 1, 475 x 1, 405 x 1, 455 x 1, 405 x 1

KB swings/snatches - 40 kg x 5 sets of 10 reps

Didn't have anyone watching the 505 but it felt good and solid - just can't be 100% sure on depth with out the extra eyes.

Feeling good

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